A Myanmar court has sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in jail after finding them guilty of breaking the Official Secrets Act.


A Myanmar court has sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in jail after finding them guilty of breaking the Official Secrets Act.
Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were originally detained in December 2017 after working on an investigation into the mass killing of a number of Rohingya villagers in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The violence was part of a conflict which the UN has described as a form of “ethnic cleansing,” with military operations forcing more than 700,000 Rohingya, a minority Muslim group, to flee Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Both journalists testified in court that two police officers, who they had not previously met, had given them papers relating to their investigation during a meeting in a Yangon restaurant. Shortly after, they were arrested by plainclothes officers. According to CNN.

A senior United Nations official condemned the ruling. “The United Nations has consistently called for the release of the Reuters journalists and urged the authorities to respect their right to pursue freedom of expression and information,” said Knut Ostby, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar.
Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said the conviction was “a sad day” for the organization, the two men and “the press everywhere,” adding that the verdict “must be corrected by the Myanmar government as a matter of urgency.”

“I have no fear,” Wa Lone, one of the two journalists, said after the verdict. “I have not done anything wrong. I believe in justice, democracy and freedom.” BBC reported.

The two men, who both have families with young children, have been in prison since their arrest in December 2017.


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